Jose Mourinho pleads with Chelsea not to sack Marco Ianni after Stamford Bridge touchline row
Jose Mourinho has launched an unexpected defence of Marco Ianni and urged Chelsea not to sack the coach for sparking the ugly spat at the end of Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The Manchester United manager reacted furiously to Ianni’s goading after Maurizio Sarri’s second assistant coach celebrated provocatively in front of the Portuguese after Ross Barkley’s 96th minute equaliser. Mourinho had to be restrained from chasing Ianni down the tunnel.
Sarri apologised to Mourinho and Ianni was later sent to do the same. Sarri had also said he planned to speak to Ianni privately the next day and he faces the prospect of internal disciplinary action but Mourinho insisted the matter was over as far as he was concerned and that the Italian coach deserves a “second chance”.
Phil Neville, the former United player, has called for Ianni to be sacked over the incident but Mourinho, acknowledging that he had made mistakes down the years, insisted that was entirely unnecessary.
“I want to thank Sarri for his honesty, I want to thank Chelsea for its honesty, too,” said Mourinho, who raised the matter without being prompted.
“But I'm not happy that it is going too far with the young boy, I don't think he deserves more than what he got, he apologised to me, I accept his apologies, I think he deserves a second chance.
“I don't think he deserves or to be sacked or anything more than the fact his club was strong with him and he went through a situation [where] he recognises he was wrong.
“So I hope everybody does the same as I did, which is not to disturb a career of a young guy which is probably a great guy, is probably a coach of great potential and I'm not happy with it more than that.
“It is the end of story with me, in the minutes he apologised to me. But I would really like the boy not to go through more than that. Let him work, everybody makes mistakes, I made mistakes, I hope they let the kid go.”
Mourinho is waiting to discover from the FA if he will be charged for his reaction to Ianni’s provocation. Referee Mike Dean is expected to include the bust-up in his report, which the governing body are due to study on Monday.